The internet has changed how we do everything, including the way businesses are operated. A small business can reach potential customers halfway across the world by having a presence online. However, many businesses are yet to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer. Here are some tips for how to build that presence:
1. MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITES
Most business owners know (or have heard) that they should have a website. It has become an integral part of doing business. However, it is no longer enough to just have a basic website. Many people are accessing the internet via mobile devices such as phones and tablets. As such, successful online marketing should start with a good mobile site or a responsive design for a website. A responsive design means that the website adjusts content to fit onto the screen of whatever device is being used.
2. GOOD CONTENT
There is a popular saying that content is king – and it’s true! Search engines and human users love fresh and relevant content. It’s not a good idea to build a website and leave it stagnant. To keep content interesting, consider writing a company blog, creating guides for products, featuring staff or community members on the website, or guest blog for other people or organizations. These actions help to build credibility for the business.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
There are tons of social media platforms out there, and it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the options available. But businesses can no longer ignore the power of social media. Many of their current and potential customers are already there, and expect to engage with businesses on those platforms. Missing out on social media is missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. If resources like time and money are limited, start with two of the bigger platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, and work with those for a while. Then, you can decide to experiment with more or keep the status quo.
Another useful marketing technique is to find and utilize reputable online databases. When people search for a particular type of service, these databases often pop up with a list of applicable businesses based on the information they have.
A listing on Google My Business is a must have, as this is still the most popular search engine for a lot of people. Other databases focusing on Nigeria include Vconnect and Ngex, among others. Businesses can also list on niche sites that cover a certain sector. For example, if a healthcare database has a directory for healthcare related businesses, a pharmacy would be an appropriate listing. A mechanic shop would not be a good fit for this niche.
5. ONLINE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Participate in discussions online – this can include discussions directly related to the sector the business plays in, as well as general discussions. Every member of the organization can do this - from the CEO down to the interns. Just be sure to set guidelines if they’ll help keep people in line.
Try out these online marketing tips and get your business more exposure (and hopefully, more profit) on the internet.
Uyai is the lead consultant at Areedi. She helps her clients streamline their processes and keep their business operations running smoothly. She loves to read, travel and be productive. Visit her blog at www.areedi.com